What separates these lemon cookies from others is the fact there is no lemon juice or lemon zest in the dough (and obviously no fake lemon taste as I only use natural products). As a matter-of-fact, if you nibble around the slice of lemon baked into the cookie, you'll never know it is a lemon cookie - but when you get in the middle, look out!
It would be rather ridiculous to have a sour acidic slice of lemon embossed in this cookie. It would ruin the cookie. What we do is sprinkle the lemon slice with raw sugar and then when it bakes, the sugar crystallizes over the lemon slice and you now have a sweet tasting lemon which accentuates the richness of the cookie and yes, these cookies are indeed rich.
Though these are quite an elegant brunch cookie, they are very simple to make. You do want to remember to remove the rind from the lemon before you place it over the dough and you can do this by trimming with a sharp paring knife or a pair of kitchen shears. You will also need a pastry bag and a star-shaped tip. If need be you can use a cookie press, albeit the shape of your cookies will be greatly decreased. And remember, these are a very buttery rich cookie and contain no baking powder or soda, so they will spread.
Ingredients needed to make Southwest Real Lemon Cookies:
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbs. vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- A couple of lemons, sliced thin and rind removed
- Raw sugar for topping lemon slices
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon sheet.
- Into a mixer with a paddle attachment add the butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Add the flour and salt and beat until a dough forms.
- Spoon the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
- Squeeze the dough through the tip to form stars about the same diameter as the lemon slices.
- Place a lemon slice atop each piece of dough and sprinkle the lemon slice with raw sugar.
- Place in the oven and bake 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan 10 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and cool on a rack until ready to serve.
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